Fundamentals of Design

Not everyone is a born designer, but following a few simple guidelines can help you turn your beautiful wholesale flowers and greens into true works of art! These pointers will help you with wedding flowers and any arrangements, whether you prefer wholesale roses, lilies, carnations, hydrangeas, daisies or tropicals, or any of our wide selection of wholesale flowers!

 

Light

    When designing your arrangment, keep in mind that different types of lights are used for different effects. Experiment with the effects of various sources of light and play with light as an element in your design.
  • Bright lights illuminate the entire design
  • Spotlights throw focus on a single aspect
  • Colored bulbs create a mood
  • Side lighting casts shadows on the opposite side of the light source
  • lights from above create shadows beneath

 

Form

Form applies to the fundamental shape of an arrangement. There are 6 basic shapes: circle or ball, curve, right triangle or "L", arc, "S" and triangle.

Free-form designs have materials that fall outside of basic shapes.

 

Line

Line refers to the curves or directional movement of the arrangement. You should try to match your flowers to their surrounding area. If there are tall windows, high backed chair or other vertical decor in the room you will be using your arrangement, use an arrangement made with tall thin lines that imitate the dominant features in the room.

 

Space

Space is divided, penetrated and organized by the placement of horizontal and vertical lines. Even the space that is left empty, is an inherent part of the whole.

 

Balance

There are two types of Balance: Actual and Visual. The actual balance is the arrangement's physical design. The correct proportion of flowers to the vase, its stability, it's ability to not fall over. The visual balance is if the arrangement appears to be balanced. The plant material should appear to be equal on both sides of an imaginary line down the middle of a design. Visual balance can be achieved using symmetry with equal amounts of colour and form on either side of the imaginary line central axis or asymmetrically, which uses dissimilar amounts and forms on either side. An asymmetrical arrangement must still have the correct weight on both sides to be visually pleasing.

Darker flowers will appear heavier than lighter colored flowers. Determining the use of light and dark flowers in an arrangement is critical to the balance. Therefore, it may take more light-colored flowers to equal one dark flower. Balance out darker flowers with lighter blooms.

Large blooms appear heavier if placed at the top or on the edges of the design. The size of the flowers determines their significance within the arrangement. Larger flowers carry greater visual weight, while it takes several small flowers to equal a single large flower. It is important to realize that both sizes are needed to achieve the correct balance. Team large flowers with smaller ones for a more nuanced design.

Warm colors move towards you, and cool colors recede.

 

Texture

Texture helps set the tone of the arrangement. Surfaces, containers, and floral elements that are smooth, shiny, reflective, and glittery are best used in formal or elegant settings. Natural or dried materials, raffia, straw, burlap, wire, or rough textures such as wood are informal, and lend themselves to a more relaxed decor. Be sure that the type of flowers or other materials used in the arrangement are compatible with the container and the room decor. Large, soft roses go well with small shapely leaves and lacy ferns. Multi- faceted flowers like lilacs or hydrangeas look pleasing with larger smoother leaves.

Similar elements are close in size, texture, and color. Having different flowers that meet this criteria gives you the freedom to substitute one for the other or use a mix of both. Pick similar flowers so that the arrangement emanates unity.

Arrangements with flowers of contrasting color create dramatic statements and draw attention to the design.

 

Weight

Visual weight is determined by the relationship of the larger flowers to the smaller filler flowers within the arrangement. Each flower has a certain degree of importance which is determined by the size, similarity of elements, and color.

 

Scale

The height and size of the floral arrangement should relate to the size and style of the container. The flowers and the accessories must be in correct size relationship to other elements of the design.

When designing your arrangement, consider the placement of the arrangement in the room, and the purpose for which it is intended. If your arrangements will be placed in tables where guests will be eating and talking, keep your arrangement low. The standard height suggestion for arrangements in low containers is the tallest stem be equal to 1 to 2 times the length or diameter of the vase or bowl. Tall arrangements are more appropriate for areas such as corner and entry tables, or fireplace mantels.

 

Accent

Sometimes a design will be in perfect proportion and stand as a total unit, and yet it doesn't appear quite right. By adding a visual focal point, a center of interest or the use of an accent. One way to create a focal point is to place two or three large open flowers slightly above and below the center of the arrangement.

 

Unity

Flowers, foliage, container, base, accessories... no matter how many must blend to give the feeling of a unified, complete design.

 

Harmony

Harmony is that subtle quality of combined elements that look and feel good together. Floral designs that tie the colors, elements, or textures of a room together create a harmonious theme in the surrounding decor.

 

Rhythm

Any curved line which not only leads to the center of interest but sweeps on through it to the outer edges of the arrangement helps create the sense of rhythm. The line may be continuous or it may be established through repetition.